Have you ever dreamed about spending your days under the sea? Perhaps you’ve wished you could become a fish or a whale so you’d never have to leave the ocean.
If this sounds super fun, then you may have a keen interest in Marine Biology, which is the study of living things in the ocean.
What does a Marine Biologist do?
This career covers a lot of ground...err…water, so grab your snorkel and flippers and let’s dive right into the world of Marine Biology.
The Study of Marine Biology
The word “marine” refers to saltwater environments. So a Marine Biologists does not work with lakes, streams, or rivers.
A Marine Biologist can work with anything in the ocean or the wetlands, or any place that saltwater and freshwater mix. They make discoveries involving the tiniest of bacteria, all the way up to whales, sharks, and turtles.
The BIG Stuff
A Marine Biologist gets to study all kinds of marine critters and how they live. For example, this career may find you mapping the migration pattern of a species of whale, or the number of sharks that inhabit a particular region, or even how dolphins communicate under water.
The Marine Biologist may look for large creatures in deep sea trenches, along coastlines or the middle of the ocean. They can also work in aquariums so they can study these animals up close.
The Tiny Stuff
Even though we can’t see them without a magnifying glass or a microscope, the ocean is filled with teeny tiny animals, plants, and plant-like algae. These are called “plankton,” and they are essential to life in the sea.
Plankton is a food source for many sea creatures. By studying these micro-organisms, the Marine Biologist can figure out which fish or whales are in the area (many whales only eat plankton). This type of algae can also tell the Marine Biologist if the ocean is healthy. Too much plankton, or too little, can be a sign that the ocean is unbalanced.
What Do I Need to Be a Marine Biologist?
The first thing you will need to be a Marine Biologist is a great love and appreciation for the ocean and everything in it.
While you are in school, you will also want to focus on subjects relevant to Marine Biology including biology, physics, chemistry, and mathematics.
As part of their job, a Marine Biologist may collect and analyze biological data, study plant life, identify animal species, research environmental effects, communicate findings to the public, and much more. Along the path to being a Marine Biologist, you may also decide to focus your study on a particular group of animals.
Although a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology is sufficient for many related jobs, a Ph.D. is usually required for independent research and university teaching if you choose to go that route.
If you think you may want to be a Marine Biologist, keep up with your studies, particularly those related to the field.
With a lot of work and a real love of all things “oceany,” you may one day become a Marine Biologist. Who knows? You may even discover a new species.